Nov 18, 2015

“Let Me Entertain You” – with a little help from the IoT

According to eMarketer, there are currently 1.9 billion smartphone users in the world. That means there is now a whole lot of data passing through the Internet, from smartphone access to social media platforms and websites. Businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve will need to take full advantage of this data.

One example is entertainment company WME/IMG which has joined forces with AGT International to create a platform that will connect consumers before, during and after live events. This – they hope – will revolutionize the entertainment industry by enabling entertainers, sponsors and organizers to actively engage with fans and attendees during live events. Data analytics, gained from both stationary and wearable sensors, combined with social analytics, garnered from social media feeds can provide a plethora of information. This could range from alerting performers when audience energy levels begin to lag, to gauging what displays most interest a crowd, and even providing attendees with accurate queueing times for the restrooms.

A platform such as this could carry over into range of venues such as music concerts, fashion shows and sports stadiums. Instead of a lone performer utilizing the analytics, a whole stadium could enhance the experience.

To illustrate: You and your friend purchase tickets to a baseball game. The stadium where the game is being held happens to be a smart stadium, connected to the IoT through various sensors. You make your way to the stadium and download its custom app, which directs you to the entry gate closest to your seat location. Once at your seat, you decide it’s time for some overpriced stadium food. As this is a playoff game, the stadium is extra busy and you don’t want to miss much of the action. Fortunately, the custom app can direct you to the closest concession stand and tell you how busy it is. You can use this knowledge to plan the quickest route to that $11 hotdog you want and successfully get back to your seat in time to see a fantastic double play.

However, midway through the game, play begins to drag and the chill of the fall day sets in. You and the other fans around you take to Twitter to complain. The smart stadium picks up on the increase of negative Twitter activity and pinpoints the problem. Stadium analysts, hired to monitor the IoT activity, send over attendants with blankets to rekindle your enthusiasm.

Such a scenario may still be a few years down the line. However, it is important to be aware of the upcoming trends in order to capitalize on them. The technology involved in harnessing an IoT-connected stadium (or any other venue) requires more than just a smartphone. Such a feat requires smart sensors, detailed analytics software and, of course, 4G LTE chipsets to bring everything together. After all, only LTE networks can provide the highest speeds with the lowest latencies over the longest distances. This is the quality that is required to support thousands of devices in one location and ensure that any event is a home run.